Half Human

Some Fashion Nonsense

Jack's one heart beat fast as he ran, looking at the world rush by him in a blur. He wasn't sure why they needed to run, these two strange creatures holding his hand and him, but he wasn't worried. The Mum and the man were smiling, it didn't look like they were in danger. They just liked this part; 'the running' she'd said, 'love the running'. As his long legs glided over the ground he was inclined to agree with her—this was the freest he had felt since he'd suddenly found himself in existence.

The air rushing past his face was new, the scent of the trees was something he had never dreamed of. There were other people on the street, looking suspiciously at the little family who was running for no apparent reason. Jack laughed, something he'd just learned to do and found quite enjoyable. The man was nice, but the woman was magnificent. The Mum was wonderful and soft and she spoke sweetly. He held tightly to her hand the most, wondering where they were taking him.

"Slow down, slow down," Rose chuckled, pulling Jack to a slow stop as they reached the little blue box.

"Slow down," he copied, panting slightly through his excitement.

"That was fun," she giggled. "A bit unnecessary maybe, but…"

"Oh, nothing wrong with a bit of exercise. Look, he loved it," the Doctor said as he unlocked the door. "Jack," he said, preparing to open the door with a grand gesture, "welcome home."

The Doctor flung open the doors of the TARDIS, and suddenly Jack was very confused. It had been a very stressful day, with many new things he had to learn, but one of the first things he had gotten down was size. His person fit inside this little flesh body. His food fit inside his belly. The people fit inside the room. He was fairly certain that none of these things could be reversed. The room would not fit inside the people, his belly would not fit in his food, and this huge room should not fit inside a box. Yet, there it was.

He walked into the metal room with big eyes, recognizing the metal on the ground. He pulled his mother to the console and he laid down as he had when he'd been born.

"Yeah, you recognize this place," Rose said, pulling him up. "We'll find you a room. There's thousands in here, you'll have plenty of space. Doctor, listen, about this lecture…"

Jack heard another voice, echoing behind hers. Hello…Child of time…come here…come to me. He smiled, looking around for the source of the voice. There was the man, messing with the control switches, and there was the Mum beside him, talking about something Jack didn't understand. The smile faded. He had noticed, quite quickly, that when there was a voice, there was a mouth to go with it. Even the strange people on the television had had mouths. The others' mouths were busy though, and he knew his own voice, so who was talking?

My thief and the yellow girl…they cannot hear…none other can hear…but you were born with me, born to hear…born the perfect Time Lord…but oh, the pain I see for you in the future, Dear Child. My thief…he will be so sad when you are taken from him…Poor Doctor…Poor yellow girl…

Doctor! That was it, that was the man's name standing with the Mum. Jack smiled. His previous assumption, he figured, must have been wrong. Apparently one did not need a mouth to speak. This voice, however, was soothing and nice and calm, so he would trust it. So far, in life, he'd met no one who wanted to hurt him, and this voice seemed friendly enough.

"Yellow girl," he repeated dutifully, hoping the voice could hear him and knew he was trying to learn from it.

"Well, Jack," the Doctor yelled, clapping his hands together, "come on! It's about time we get you out of that robe. I've got quite a closet, you can pick anything you like."

Jack looked worriedly at Rose, then back towards the door. She nodded, kissing his forehead. "That man, he's the Doctor, Jack. He's your father, and he's the most wonderful man I've ever met. You can trust him, really."

Jack shyly walked with the Doctor, watching him closely. There was nothing wrong with him, exactly, at least nothing he could see, but something about this Doctor person troubled him. He seemed nice, though, and the Mum liked him. She'd said he was his father, and though he wasn't entirely sure what that meant he had to admit that there were certain similarities between the two of them.

The Doctor stopped in front of a door, a wild look on his face. "This is my favorite part of regenerating," he whispered conspiratorially. "I'm never quite sure who I am until I pick out an outfit. So," he flung open the door, "show us who you are, Jack Tyler."

Rose was making her bed when she felt two long arms snake around her waist, holding her loosely. She smiled laying one hand over the Doctor's fingers. "Where is he?"

"Getting dressed."

She spun around. "How? He doesn't know what a shirt is, much less how to button a coat," she went to push past him.

"He's fine," he assured her. "He's a fast learner, Rose. He shouldn't be speaking yet, much less formulating his own phrases, like he has been. He's seen us in clothes, he knows how they work."

She sighed, sheepishly sweeping her hair back. "You're right. I suppose this is all a bit new."

"I suppose it would be."

She stopped a minute, tracing the outline of his face with her fingertips. "I'm sorry. You told me. Jack… he isn't your first child. Are you okay?"

"Yeah," he nodded gently. "I've had my children. This is different."

Her face fell. "What do you mean?" she let go of him and backed away a bit. There was a deep fear in the pit of her stomach, and for a moment she looked at him as though he were a Dalek, a heartless thing looking at her in confusion. "Doctor, Jack is every bit as much as your son as any child you may have had in the past. What, you think that since you got to have a family, anyone born after that is just extra? You aren't as worried about him as me— you wanted to get rid of him when we found out about him! Jack is my son, and if you don't want to take his life seriously then just drop us off—"

"Whoa!" he said desperately. "Whoa, hang on! What are you talking about? Who said anything about me not caring about Jack?"

"You said he was di-different," she stuttered, letting him take her hands.

"Of course he's different. Time Lords weren't born fully formed, Rose. We started as babies, just like humans. Jack is something I've never seen before, all the rules are changed. Don't get me wrong—when I see him I think about my other children, but only because I failed to protect them. I have something I never dreamed of having before. I have another chance. You gave me another chance Rose. If Jack continues like this, I have the possibility of leaving something behind me in the universe besides a hodgepodge of legends calling me Destroyer, or the Storm. Jack isn't normal, Rose, but that doesn't mean he's not important. I've never met anyone who wasn't important, much less my own son."

Rose sighed, holding a hand over her mouth. "For a minute I thought…"

"Well, don't. It's a bit more difficult for us to connect, yeah, we haven't had years to do it in. You he trusted right away because you're his mother. Mothers are special, they're the thing that brings you into the universe, and you know them before anything else—especially Jack, since he was conscious through part of the pregnancy. It might take me a while, but we'll get there. We're a family, Rose. If we were perfect it'd be boring."

"No boring on the TARDIS."

"Exactly," he grinned.

They were distracted by a rapid tapping of feet. "Jack?" Rose called. "Jack, we're in here, Sweetheart."

She heard the running feet change direction, and then suddenly Jack was at the door, the wild expression of outright glee on his face, making her chuckle. Then she saw his clothes and the smile disappeared.

"Oh, that's brilliant!" the Doctor exclaimed, looking at his son's wardrobe appreciatively.

"No," Rose said quickly, "absolutely not."

Jack looked at her crookedly, the small red hat sliding down onto the floor. He was in a colorful patterned shirt, covered by a tweed jacket with leather on the elbows. His pants were bright white, with a question mark on each knee. He was wearing a long military coat around his shoulders, and the long colorful scarf nudged the little red hat that rolled dolefully around his feet. He held the clothes to himself excitedly, grinning at Rose. "Look," he stuttered.

"Yes, I see it, and no, you are not wearing that."

"Oh, come on," the Doctor whined, eyeing, straightening Jack's crooked shirt. "He looks great. I haven't seen this scarf in ages. And what is this," he picked the hat from the ground. "Is this a fez? That is classic; that is just…a little bit…cool? No, that's definitely the wrong word. Still, you pull it off, not many people can do that."

"Is that a bowtie?" Rose frowned.

"Of course it's a bowtie, why not?" he asked.

"Well, for one, it's around his wrist."

The Doctor slipped it off Jack's wrist and started to hang it around his neck. "Well, your mother was wearing a bracelet, he hasn't seen anyone wear a bowtie properly yet. Scarves are easy, bows are hard. He guessed."

"He can't wear that," she insisted. Jack eyes fell a bit, rounding out at the corners and dragging his eyebrows with them until he resembled a sad puppy. "Oh, no," she sighed, covering her face, "he can do the thing."

The Doctor threw an arm around his shoulders, copying perfectly the expression on Jack's face. "Please, Mum, he just wants to wear something creative. Will you stifle his creativity?"

"On the TARDIS only," she grumbled. "Did we have a lecture to go over or not?"

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